Our day started out early because we had to get down to our dealer PACIFIC MOTOSPORTS
to get our new tires mounted. We are leaving we hope Monday for just a short 2 weeks trip down to the KLIM Adventure rally and then we are not sure where.
Love rok straps and how easy they make for transporting almost anything. Our new Heidenau Tires. These are our third set going on our Beemers and we used these tires when we rode the Triumph Tigers last summer. We believe in them in all-weather conditions and LOVE them to be honest.
We knew it would be awhile to get our tires done because we really did not have an appointment. Rusty the service manager told us to come down and he would get them done and we were offered to take out the Triumph Explorer.
Before we took the bike out of course we had to check out all the bikes. I eyes were once again attracted to the Triumph Tiger XC and of course BMW’s. They also have Aprillia and Moto Guzzi as well. Nice array of bikes.
Seriously who would refuse to demo the new 1200? Besides we needed to eat breakfast. Out of the wallet came my license and credit card… and off we went. Cheryl does not like to ride passengers so if and when we ride together I, Leslie rend to be the rider. I love riding 2 up and respect Cheryl not wanting to take that on.
The accessories we could tell this bike were;
Triumph Gel/heated seats – both rider and pillion
Triumph Heated grips
Cruise Control (we have a throttle lock on our BMW’s, hardly ever use it)
I think that was it???
First impression was not a surprise. It really feels like a more powerful, heavier Triumph Tiger 800. Sounds like the 800, with the rubber inserts in the pegs riding position felt like the way I did when I first took out the Tiger. The rubber inserts makes my knees feel to high and almost like I am in a sport bike position. Those would have to go of course like we did on the 800′s. Once we got the 800′s in our possession from Triumph Canada we ripped the rubber inserts out and voila, much more comfy to ride.
If you have a Tiger 800 or have been on one this bike would feel very similar. To be honest it did not thrill us but that is only because it was familiar. Don’t get me wrong, this engine is powerful, smooth and fun to ride. We did not do any DS riding, just road around some nice country roads and twisties. I fit the bike no problems.
Leslie is 5′almost 5″ and 30.5″ inseam. Gel seat on low setting and I could get two feet down but not flat. So easy though to ride this way for me and I had zero concerns about seat height. The seats were heated. Although we did not need to use them we turned them on for fun as well as the grips and yep…warm butt hot hands. Check…they worked and we would have loved this accessory on our last summer trip. How sweet to have heat under your butt and hands (we did not get the heated grips on the Triumph bikes because they were over looked). Suspension was good for 2 people.
It handles as though it is smaller than a 1200. What I mean it is not intimidating to ride and really does not feel like a 1200. Which is a good thing…way less threatening to ride.
I only hope Triumph adds this push button informatics handlebar set up on the 800. This is what I have always had issues with on the 800′s. I like to toggle through informatics and also see ambient temperature. I like that you can use these buttons to find the ABS and turn it off. I bet 2013 version/2014 Triumph will add this i button to their 800′s.
Both sections of the seat had heat.
Dash looks familiar eh? Very much like the 800 series. Nicely laid out, easy to read and like I said on this bike you can now have ambient temp, and a toggle switch to check out all that cool info on the dash. I think but I could be wrong, but on this Explorer as well as the 800′s your odometer flashes on for a second when you start the bike but disappears unless you return neutral. Just weird the default appears to be Trip A.
Let’s talk about the Triumph panniers up close. They are not what I would call an ADV panniers. They look HUGE on this bike but yet lack capacity. They use the Sprint ST mounting system. A swivel mount that when you turn in curves the idea is that the bags move with the bike. Cheryl and I really do not like these boxes compared to other real ADV set ups like Touratech and our fav Jesse Luggage.
Side opening is also something we would not favor. With this set you all I can see is all our crap falling out every time we open the luggage. They do not feel sturdy but most importantly they again LOOK really HUGE on the bike and out of place.
The mount is not attached to the bags and is set up to actually tap the bags as you ride. See the little knob at the end? That is not actually intact with the bag.
The brake side case has almost zero capacity and seriously can not imagine putting any thing in this one. Just don’t get the design but I am sure some will be insulted with our critique. I would not waste my money on this accessory while Triumph seems to have many other accessories that kick ass. Like their optional seat, aux lights, touring shields etc.
While waiting for our bikes we met this guy, Guillaume. A quiet and almost shy ADV solo rider from Thailand but originally from France. He just bought himself a brand new BMW 800GS from Pacific Motosports to take on a 6 month trip from Northern BC to South America. Guillaume also got himself a brand new KLIM Badlands suit too. We wish him a safe journey and if you want check out his BLOG THE LONG WAY SOUTH
Next we met Patrick, an Irishman getting his bike ready to ship to South Korea to get to the next leg of his journey. Check out his website and BLOG, ON A WHIM AND A PRAYER . This guy was hysterical and he and his buddy are traveling around the world in 3 1/2 months, 35,000 KM’s. His BMW thumper took a beating in the North.
Amazing trip, we talked about Alaska as he just got back from riding a very wet Dalton Highway. We could totally relate to the horror at times trying to just stay on your bike in the rain plus the Dalton. Very enthusiastic Patrick is, graphic designer by trade and complete ADV addict.
I felt a bit envious that these guys are riding for so many months but our time will come to be able to take a few months trip.
My tires and bike checked out OK but in the middle of the day we got the news that Cheryl needed a new front caliper. They found a pin hole in her brake line that was causing a leak. Cheryl said her ABS seemed to be going off for no reason. I guess the guys found out why. Rusty the manager calls after we left on their loaner…
and says bad news calipers are back ordered from Germany for at least 2 weeks. I was like then our trip would be cancelled. Rusty then said good news, the GM of the dealer said he could take a caliper off one of their showroom bikes and use it on Cheryl’s. Good news as well this will be covered under BMW’s warranty. This is when you say WOW, 3 year warranties not a bad idea. Rusty always works hard for the customer to make things happen. WE are very content that the $700 to replace this part is covered, that we got a loaner so we could leave and go home. I will be picking Cheryl’s bike up later this morning.
All in all a great day. Hanging out at a dealer like Pacific Motosports you are bound to run into ADV riders, get some great stories and on a nice day kind of fun just hanging out. So, new tires, new front and rear brake pads and now Cheryl new caliper/piston set up too. It does appear we can leave Maple Ridge on Monday, July 9th, get out of here for some fun touring. We both really need this break and I will be posting our SPOTwalla page if anyone is interested in tracking us.
We know our family likes to keep tabs on where we are when out on a two wheeled adventure hence the SPOT, but we like to see our track too.